RUSH: Martin in Cadillac, Michigan, as we start on the phones. I promised we’d go to the phones and we’re gonna do it. Hi, Martin. Glad to have you here.
CALLER: Thank you for taking my phone call, Rush.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: As I mentioned to the screener, as of October 1st, as part of the Medicaid expansion in the state of Michigan, the Health and Human Services mandate is that any doctor who is not a Medicaid enrolled provider — if he writes in the labs, X-rays, or prescriptions, Medicaid will not reimburse for those at all.
RUSH: Okay. Tell me that in plain English. What does that mean?
CALLER: What that means is that if a patient… I am not a Medicaid enrolled provider. I’ve chosen not to participate in Medicaid.
RUSH: Because you want to get paid for your work, right?
CALLER: I want to get paid. It doesn’t even pay to mess with that.
CALLER: The bureaucracy is overwhelming, and I see those patients, I bill them, and they either pay me what they can or I don’t get paid at all. I see them because that’s what my commission here is to do. It’s to take care of people.
CALLER: I’ve been doing that for 12-1/2 years up here in Michigan. Now if I see those patients and write a prescription for them, Medicaid will not honor that, and they will either have to pay it out of pocket or the hospital — if I order a chest X-ray and they get it done at the hospital, the hospital — won’t get paid, because it came from me because I’m not enrolled in Medicaid.
RUSH: Wait. Are you telling me that…? I can’t believe what you just said. I’m sitting here in shock. I need to ask you what you did. Did you just say that patients will have to pay for their own prescriptions?
RUSH: In the United States of America, patients are gonna have to pay for their own prescriptions under Obamacare?
CALLER: If they come to see me, yes.
RUSH: Well, your practice is over.
CALLER: (laughing) I doubt it, Rush. You know, according to one survey, two-thirds of doctors in west Michigan are not seeing any new Medicaid patients.
RUSH: No, I’m being facetious of course. Your practice will survive. You’ll find people that don’t want to play this game. Can you imagine, you might have to pay for your own prescription. (Gasp!) No!
RUSH: What Martin said is true. If a patient gets treated by a non-Medicaid doctor, none of his charges will be covered by Medicaid. No hospital fee, no prescriptions. It’s pretty shocking — and when the seasoned citizen population gets a load of this, it’s gonna be Rostenkowski time all over.